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tv   CBS Weekend News  CBS  March 4, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> ninan: president trump's explosive tweet storm. in a saturday morning twitter burst, the president accuses president obama of wiretapping trump tower, watergate style. but mr. trump offers no evidence as proof. also tonight, ms-13, the street gang accused of recent attacks in several cities, including a satanic murder. >> ms-13 has been meting out its own version of the death penalty. >> ninan: isis suspected of a horrifying chemical attack overseas. and, a winter of devastating storms leaves a group of california monks stranded. >> we sort of feel, in some way, like we're a modern version of "gilligan's island." this is the "cbs weekend news."
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>> ninan: good evening. i'm reena ninan. this is our western edition. before most americans awoke saturday, president trump was on twitter posting explosive wiretapping accusations against president obama. mr. trump claims he recently learned mr. obama ordered what trump describes as a watergate- style wiretap on trump tower in new york. he says it happened just before the election. mr. trump offered no evidence, and an obama spokesman issued a quick denial. it comes amid growing controversy over the trump administration's possible russian ties. the president is spending the weekend at his mar-a-lago resort in palm beach. errol barnett is there. >> reporter: president trump is back on familiar ground here at his mar-a-lago resort in florida, and he's back to one of his favorite activities-- stirring up conversations with his tweets. after a week of speeches and addresses widely regarded as presidential, mr. trump made an explosive allegation, that the obama administration secretly listened in on him during the
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election. the president's tweet storm started around 6:35 a.m. with this: "just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower. nothing found." minutes later he asked, "is it legal for a sitting president to be wiretapping a race for president? a new low." and offering no evidence of wiretapping as proof, suggested, "a good lawyer could make a great case" out of the issue. 10 minutes after that, he compared the allegation to the nixon/watergate scandal, saying, "president obama is a bad or sick guy." a spokesman for president obama released this statement saying in part: >> the time for trivial fights is behind us. >> reporter: it's a departure from the president's optimistic tone in his widely-praised address to a joint session of congress last week.
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>> so i'll make a comment about the latest tweet. you have seen it? >> reporter: today, republican senator lindsey graham addressed the president's wiretapping claims at a raucous town hall meeting in south carolina. >> it's my job as a united states senator to get to the bottom of this. i promise you i will. ( applause ) >> reporter: now, weekend trips to florida have become routine for the president. this is his fourth trip here in six weeks. the white house says this is a working weekend, with mr. trump focused on revising his controversial travel ban and mapping out a plan to repeal and replace obamacare. reena? >> ninan: thanks, errol. now let's bring in justice reporter paula reid. she has more on the president's twitter claims and his defense of attorney general jeff sessions as he sits down for dinner with the president. paula? >> reporter: attorney general jeff sessions' first few weeks in office have been dominated by controversies over investigations into the trump
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campaign and possible ties to russia. now senate democrats and president trump are raising new questions about the justice department's conduct. >> i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. >> reporter: senate democrats are not satisfied with attorney general sessions' recusal. in a letter to the department of justice, they demanded answers about why sessions only recused, following news reports of previously undisclosed meetings he had with the russian ambassador, and why he only recused himself with respect to campaign-related investigations, and not russian contacts with the trump transition team and administration. but president trump took to twitter saturday morning and doubled down on his claim that democrats are overplaying their hand. he tweeted, "the first meeting jeff sessions had with the russian ambassador was set up by the obama administration under education program for '100 ambassadors'." mr. trump is referring to the fact that one of the meetings attorney general sessions had with the russian ambassador was at a state department-sponsored event in july.
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the president also tweeted accusations that former president obama tapped his phones in trump tower in the run-up to the election. he offered no source for this shocking claim. now the question is whether president trump and his associates will get the same treatment that secretary of state hillary clinton received. in that case, the f.b.i. held a press conference and discussed its investigation, the evidence it found, and why it wasn't bringing charges against anyone. attorney general jeff sessions says he will update his senate testimony about his contacts with russia, in writing, on monday. but, reena, that's unlikely to be enough to put this controversy behind him. >> ninan: and paula, has the f.b.i. responded to the president's wiretapping claims? >> reporter: reena, the f.b.i. has not responded to the presidents' tweets, and sources i have spoken with have been unable to substantiate them, either. some have even suggested that if the president is making these claims, he should be the one to present proof. >> ninan: paula, thank you. with a string of recent murder charges in texas, new york, and virginia, a gang known as ms-13 appears to be surging again. tony dokoupil has the latest.
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>> reporter: according to houston police, the two young men shown here kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and shot a 15-year-old girl, sacrificing her in the name of satan. >> i think they're just distraught that they've lost their daughter. >> reporter: in court thursday, the accused killers smiled and waved for the cameras. from texas to new york to virginia, officers are dealing with a rash of murders attributed to a resurgent ms-13, a notoriously violent street gang. first reported decades ago in los angeles, the gang now has thousands of members in at least 42 states, according to the f.b.i. most are salvadorian nationals or first-generation americans. >> for far too long on long island, ms-13 has been meting out its own version of the death penalty. >> reporter: also on thursday, robert capers, u.s. attorney for the eastern district of new york, pinned seven murders on ms-13, including the killing of two teenaged girls with baseball bats and a machete. evelyn rodriguez lost her daughter. >> this day is a celebration,
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but also a sad day. >> reporter: last month in northern virginia, more than half a dozen alleged ms-13 members were arrested after a double murder, and according to law enforcement, most of the suspects arrested in these recent cases were in the country illegally. both the george w. bush and the obama administrations launched special efforts to break up ms-13. now it seems it's president trump's turn, with a recent executive order aimed at breaking up gangs known for what he called barbaric acts. reena? >> ninan: tony, thanks. overseas in iraq, the battle for mosul rages on. ( explosion ) that's a car bomb rattling western mosul. it was likely set off by isis. several police officers were wounded. iraqi forces, backed by the u.s. military, are trying to retake the city from isis. meanwhile, the terror group is suspected of carrying out a chemical attack on civilians in mosul this past week. here's jonathan vigliotti. >> reporter: reena, the united nations in a statement today called the attacks a possible
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war crime as they wait for confirmation on what chemicals, if any, were used. the u.n. confirmed at least 12 people are being treated at a hospital in erbil. among the injured, five children and a one-month-old baby. according to the red cross, the alleged chemical weapons caused blisters, vomiting, and severe swelling around eyes. the injuries happened in two separate attacks in eastern mosul beginning wednesday. this woman said a rocket landed in her home and sprayed her family with what she described as an oily chemical. eastern mosul was once controlled by isis until u.s.-backed iraqi forces recaptured it in january. it's still unclear who's to blame for the attack, but the mortars were apparently fired from west mosul, which is still held by the islamic state. the unrest has let led to a mass exodus. the united states has warned that isis could use weapons containing sulfur mustard agents as iraqi forces now push to liberate western mosul. the islamic state has been
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suspected of making and using chemical weapons in territory it controls in iraq and neighboring syria, but this week's attack would mark the first time the terror group used chemical weapons in mosul. reena, the united nations is now calling for a full investigation. >> pelley: okay, jonathan vigliotti in london. in pennsylvania, one person was killed and more than two dozen others were injured in a 32-vehicle pileup on friday. blinding snowstorms caused several multi-vehicle crashes in the state. well, this winter's devastating storms have caused at least $1 billion in damage to california's roads and bridges. a monastery on the coast in big sur is nearly cut off from the mainland. carter evans has the story. >> reporter: since the beginning of the year, california has weathered ten major storms that have flooded communities up and down the coast. in the northern part of the state, big sur has seen more than five feet of rainfall in two months, and it nearly washed
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out the main bridge to the resort community, according to cal-tran spokesman bob haus. >> until we are absolutely certain that we can look people in the eye and say, "yes, it's safe to drive on this," then we have to keep it closed. >> reporter: storm damage has left a dozen monks at the new camaldoli hermitage in big sur even more isolated than expected. >> reporter: but father robert hale, talking to us through a satellite video connection, says they are having to ration fuel and food. the monastery is completely off the grid, and the only access road was cut off by a torrential storm last month. what was it like when the storm was hitting? >> it was kind of "apocalypse now." mother nature is a little angry. >> reporter: was there a point when you were concerned there, for your own safety? >> well, we're not supposed to have fear, but we are human beings. >> reporter: the hermitage supports itself by renting rooms to those seeking solitude, according to business manager rich veum. >> we had to cancel all
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reservations through march, which has been a huge financial hit for us. >> reporter: they're getting financial help now from a gofundme page. others in the community are getting rations flown in by helicopter, but the monks have been taking advantage of breaks in the weather and road construction for supply runs. >> long enough for to us get a couple monks out in a four-wheel drive, and they've been able to drive into town to get some supplies. >> reporter: i can only imagine what that looks like. >> yeah. >> reporter: you guys have had to get pretty creative. >> that's the word, absolutely. >> reporter: the monks say it could cost them a quarter million dollars just to repair the entrance road to the monastery, and, reena, the storms may not be finished yet. there are still several weeks left in california's rainy season. >> ninan: okay, we're glad they're okay. carter evans, thank you. the world's most-famous sleddog race got underway today in anchorage, alaska. there was the ceremonial start of the iditarod. the competition gets real in fairbanks on monday, and it ends roughly eight days later in nome, alaska.
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about 2,000 dogs and 72 mushers are in it to win it. coming up next, a mother and son separated by war are reunited. ed by war are reunited. i never miss an early morning market.
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if it's severe stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach-area pain and swelling. talk to your doctor about managing your symptoms proactively with linzess. >> ninan: well, earlier, we reported on the fighting that's torn apart iraq's second-largest city, mosul. now, charlie d'agata has the story of a mother and son who were separated by the war for nearly three years. >> reporter: what was happening? muhaimen was only nine years old when isis militants overran mosul. he found himself trapped, terrified, and separated from his mother. he said he thought he'd never see her again. "i thought that i was already dead," he said. "during the fighting, there was bombing right next to us and our neighbors were killed."
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he and his family were among the tens of thousands who fled when isis first invaded, but when his father qassim decided to risk going back to grab some belongings, muhaimen begged to join him. a lapse in judgment, and a dreadful mistake. when they tried to leave, isis had cut off all the escape routes. "they raided our home. they took my video game and threw it out the window. owr apartment is on the third floor." for two and a half long years, his mother, zeinab, feared the worst. there were rumors isis had executed her husband. there was no way of reaching her son. "i began to lose hope," zeinab said, "especially after the bombing started. i had nothing left but tears and prayers." mhaimen finally managed to escape when iraqi forces liberated his neighborhood in eastern mosul. by pure chance, a family friend noticed muhaimen in news footage and promptly called his mom.
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"what did we do? we just ran out on the street. we started running the streets, looking for a taxi. we just wanted to get there as soon as we could." and then, the moment neither had dared dream about. so what did you think when you first saw your mother? "i was very happy," he said. "i became emotional, and there were all those tv cameras filming the moment. i pushed the peshmerga guards out of the way and ran through the gate." now, zeinab can't bear to have him more than an arm's length away. "no, even now, i can't believe it," she said. "to this moment, at night he reaches out to me and says, 'mom, i can't believe i'm in your arms'." this barren and dusty camp outside of mosul is home now, and for any foreseeable future. they don't have much, but they have each other. charlie d'agata, cbs news, near mosul, northern iraq.
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>> ninan: still ahead, the oscar winners who were too busy saving lives to celebrate their hollywood achievement. ♪ hi, i'm frank. i take movantik for oic, opioid-induced constipation. had a bad back injury, my doctor prescribed opioids which helped with the chronic pain, but backed me up big-time. tried prunes, laxatives, still constipated... had to talk to my doctor. she said, "how long you been holding this in?" (laughs) that was my movantik moment. my doctor told me that movantik is specifically designed for oic and can help you go more often. don't take movantik if you have a bowel blockage or a history of them. movantik may cause serious side effects, including symptoms of opioid withdrawal,
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>> ninan: some of last week's oscar winners did not attend the ceremony. they were saving lives in syria. this week, holly williams met one of the white helmets showing the best of humanity in the worst of places. >> reporter: the white helmets did what they always do on monday-- racing to the aftermath of a deadly air strike to pull civilians and bodies from the rubble. business as usual in the hellish chaos of syria's civil war. where syrian regime and russian air strikes destroy neighborhoods. in hollywood on sunday, the producer and director of the film "the white helmets," accepted the award for best documentary short. three of the film's cameramen are syrians, who risked their lives to capture images like
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these. 21-year-old khaled khateeb is one of them. he planned to attend the academy awards, but was stopped from boarding the plane at the last minute. he says he still doesn't know why. "i was disappointed," he told us, "but the most important thing is that the film won the oscar. maybe it will encourage the international community to give us more help." "60 minutes" reported on the heroism and humanity of the white helmets last december. the group says it's rescued more than 80,000 people and that over 160 of its emergency workers have been killed. rady saad joined the white helmets two years ago. >> pelley: "there's a 50% chance in every operation that i'll live and a 50% chance that i'll die." >> reporter: you've seen people dying. you've seen people fighting for their life. and you're so young. how has that changed you?
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"i've seen body parts scattered everywhere and had nightmares," he told us. "but i've also witnessed rescues, and i feel a responsibility to tell the world." khaled khateeb told us he'll head back to syria again soon. he's one of many syrians who are putting their lives on the line to document the violence that's engulfed their country. holly williams, cbs news, istanbul. >> ninan: up next, the international runway model who became a model grocer. ugh! heartburn!
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coaching means making tough choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure and need cold medicine that works fast, the choice is simple. coricidin hbp is the only brand that gives powerful cold symptom relief without raising your blood pressure. coricidin hbp. >> ninan: we close tonight in south los angeles in a neighborhood referred to as a "food desert." michelle miller explains what that is and tells us about a woman who turned her community's food desert into an oasis. >> look at these little carrots. >> reporter: when renee gunter goes shopping for produce, she goes straight to the source, and gets down and dirty. >> oh, my goodness. bugs bunny never had it so good. >> reporter: the 64-year-old resident of south los angeles is
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not just shopping for herself. she's shopping for her community-- >> oh, this is chocolate mint? >> reporter: --where corner markets and liquor stores substitute for absent full- service supermarkets. as a runway model, gunter traveled the world, working with some of the biggest names in fashion. >> yves saint laurent, andre courreges, and givenchy. >> reporter: but a role in a 2012 community play about food justice changed her life. >> the more i read the script, i more i realized i lived in a food desert. >> reporter: a food desert is an urban area where it's difficult to buy affordable, quality, fresh food. residents of food deserts often weigh more, suffer from higher rates of disease, like diabetes, and have a shorter life expectancy. >> i had this epiphany, and i said, "somebody needs to do something." >> reporter: and "do" she did, by opening her own fresh produce market, daily organics, which
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gets most of its inventory from local farmers like marjun sarvodaya. are you looking for specific things? >> i want to see the product. i want to see the variety. >> reporter: customers like joyce perkins are sold. so, the taste? >> wonderful. it doesn't taste like anything i buy in the grocery store. >> reporter: how important is this? >> it's very important. i think she's starting a trend in this community. >> reporter: she's sowing seeds of good with the hope of reaping a bounty of health for her community. >> is that beautiful? right from the farm. that's beautiful. a votre sante. >> reporter: that's a sentiment we can all toast to. michelle miller, cbs news, los angeles. >> ninan: and renee tells us she's now in the process of expanding her business. and that's the "cbs weekend news" for this saturday. i'm reena ninan in new york. thank you for joining us. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access,,,,,,,,
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captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ ♪ >> it comes down to skills. it comes down to technique. and this fight comes down to


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